Friday, June 12, 2009

Pirates: One Step Forward , Two steps Back

France's top legal body, the Constitutional Council, which examines whether bills that have been passed by the French parliament are in accordance with the French constitution, has rejected a key provision of the new legislation aimed at punishing internet pirates. The law, approved last month, gives officials the power to remove web access for those caught repeatedly downloading protected material. However the Council ruled that only a judge could bar people from the web, describing access to online services as a human right.

Some consumer groups had warned that the wrong people might be punished, should hackers hijack their computers' identity, and that the scheme amounted to state surveillance.

We then have the case of the RIAA versus Jammie Thomas-Rasset in her retrial in Minnesota. The defence lawyers Kiwi Camara and Harvard Law professor Charles Nesson aimed to question the very substance of the RIAA case to file a class-action lawsuit against the recording industry later this summer.

However they have already had one set back as their attempt to bar Media Sentry’s evidence on the grounds that they were not licensed as a private investigator in Minnesota has been thrown out. They still aim to challenge the RIAA to prove it owns the certified copies of the copyrights in question. If it can't establish that fact, the case could be dismissed.

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